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News Archive 2015

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No magic bullet in London schools
- success just years of steady improvements in quality, new research shows.


New work, published as part of the Social Policy in a Cold Climate programme, concludes that the improved performance largely reflects gradual improvements in school quality over time. Improvements in primary schools played a major role in explaining later improvements in secondary schools.  In 2002 less than a quarter (22%) of children on free school meals in inner London obtained five or more A*–C grades at GCSE or their equivalent (including English and Maths). In 2013, this had risen to almost half (48%). Gains were much smaller among disadvantaged children outside London (17%) to (26%).


The new work establishes that the “London effect” for poor children began in the mid-1990s – well-before many of the high-profile policies in secondary schools previously credited with London’s success, such as the London Challenge, Teach First, and the growth of academies.  It’s possible that recent changes reflect London’s status as an economic powerhouse. To check this the researchers follow a group of children born around the year 2000 from preschool to age 11. This shows that disadvantaged pupils in London are not ahead at age 5, but instead make faster progress once they get to school compared to their peers outside the capital.   


This research is authored by Jo Blanden (School of Economics, University of Surrey) Ellen Greaves (Institute for Fiscal Studies), Paul Gregg (Department of Social Policy, Bath University), Lindsey Macmillan (Institute of Education, University College London) and Luke Sibieta (Institute for Fiscal Studies) and is part of the Social Policy in a Cold Climate programme of work, funded by Joseph Rowntree Foundation, the Nuffield Foundation and Trust for London through the Centre for the Analysis of Social Exclusion (CASE), LSE. Co-funding from the ESRC-funded Centre for the Microeconomic Analysis of Public Policy at the Institute for Fiscal Studies is gratefully acknowledged.

News Posted: 30 September 2015      [Back to the Top]

Papal Audience
Lord Nicholas Stern meets Pope Francis in special audience on the theme of environmental justice

Pope Francis addressed a meeting organised by the Sustainable Development Foundation on the theme of "Environmental justice and climate change". He received Lord Nicholas Stern, who presented him with his new book ""Why Are We Waiting?" where he argues that the effects of climante change are far worse than predicted, and that embracing change and innovation is paramount to tackling them.

The papal audience welcomed three hundred participants who were representatives of religion, politics, economic activity and scientific research in various sectors, international organisations and those involved in the fight against poverty. The meeting took place in the Vatican on 11 September 2015.

Lord Stern is a leading climate change economist and author of the landmark Stern Review in 2006. He is STICERD associate and Professor of Economics at LSE. 

News Posted: 11 September 2015      [Back to the Top]

Coalition government education policies muddied by conflicting strategies
Ruth Lupton and Stephanie Thomson

The potential benefits of the Pupil Premium for children from low-income families were counterbalanced by other policies, says a new analysis.

Ruth Lupton, Professor of Education at the University of Manchester and Visiting Professor at LSE's Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion (CASE), and Dr Stephanie Thomson of the University of Manchester demonstrate that the Pupil Premium, championed by the former Coalition Government as their ‘most important lever’ in reducing the impact of inequalities on educational outcomes has, overall, distributed more money to schools with poorer intakes. Professor Ruth Lupton has made a short video introducing the research. It is available on the journal website.

The Pupil Premium was a key programme for the 2010–15 Coalition Government, and was championed by then Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg as a ‘flagship’ policy. But Lupton and Thomson’s research, published in a special issue of the London Review of Education examining the impact of Coalition policies on the sector, shows its potential benefits have been counterbalanced by a wider set of policies. These include cuts to welfare benefits and services which have disadvantaged low-income families and children.

The authors also argue that broader education policies, including changes to GCSE assessment and cuts to school building plans for poorer areas, may also act against children from low-income families.

'Aspiring future governments with intentions to reduce inequalities in school outcomes surely need to see the problem “in the round”,’ say Lupton and Thomson, ‘taking into account family poverty and the mainstream activities of schools as well as additional interventions funded through supplementary funding streams.’ The paper complements a previous review of the Coalition’s schools policies published by CASE and builds on the Social Policy in a Cold Climate reports published by the London School of Economics in 2013 and 2015.

This special issue of the London Review of Education  contains 14 articles of critical analysis and reflection by key academics and professionals on the impact of the 2010–2015 Coalition Government’s radical, reforming approach to education policy. The issue, titled ‘Education policy under the 2010–15 UK Coalition Government: Critical perspectives’ (vol. 13, no. 2), was published on 18 September 2015 and is introduced by Professor Chris Husbands, Director of the UCL Institute of Education.

News Posted: 11 September 2015      [Back to the Top]

Too Many Children Left Behind: the US achievement gap in comparative perspective
21st Oct, CASE and LSE International Inequalities Institute public lecture

Date: Wednesday 21 October 2015
Time: 6.30-8pm
Venue: Hong Kong Theatre, Clement House
Speaker:  Professor Jane Waldfogel
Chair: Professor Sir John Hills

The belief that with hard work and determination, all children have the opportunity to succeed in life is a cherished part of the American Dream. Yet, increased inequality in America has made that dream more difficult for many to obtain. In Too Many Children Left Behind, an international team of social scientists assesses how social mobility varies in the United States compared with Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Bruce Bradbury, Miles Corak, Jane Waldfogel, and Elizabeth Washbrook show that the academic achievement gap between disadvantaged American children and their more advantaged peers is far greater than in other wealthy countries, with serious consequences for their future life outcomes. With education the key to expanding opportunities for those born into low socioeconomic status families, Too Many Children Left Behind helps us better understand educational disparities and how to reduce them.

Jane Waldfogel is Compton Foundation Centennial Professor, Columbia University School of Social Work and Visiting Professor at CASE, LSE. She is co-author of Too Many Children Left Behind.

John Hills is Professor of Social Policy and Director of the Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion (CASE) and Co-Director of the International Inequalities Institute at LSE.

The Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion (CASE) at LSE (@CASE_LSE) focuses on the exploration of different dimensions of social disadvantage, particularly from longitudinal and neighbourhood perspectives, and examination of the impact of public policy.

The new International Inequalities Institute at LSE (@LSEInequalities) brings together experts from many LSE departments and centres to provide co-ordination and strategic leadership for critical and cutting edge research and inter-disciplinary analysis of inequalities.

Suggested hashtag for this event for Twitter users: #LSEchildren

This event is free and open to all with no ticket or pre-registration required. Entry is on a first come, first served basis. For any queries see LSE Events FAQ or contact us at or 0207 955 6043.

News Posted: 24 August 2015      [Back to the Top]

Inequalities and disadvantage in London: Focus on Religion and Belief
New blog on research findings from Social Policy in a Cold Climate

In our comprehensive report on inequality and disadvantage in London published earlier this year, The Changing Anatomy of Economic Inequality in London (2007-2013), we provided a detailed picture of what happened to different population groups in London in the wake of the crisis and downturn.

In a series of blogs, hosted by research funders Trust for London, we are expanding that analysis by ‘drilling down’ into different aspects of inequality in London. The latest blog looks at key economic outcomes (wealth, unemployment, and wages – unfortunately a breakdown of London data on income is not available) by religion and belief.
News Posted: 20 August 2015      [Back to the Top]

Pension reforms since the financial crisis could have a serious impact on the future retirement incomes of young Europeans
Blog post by Aaron Grech

What effect has the financial crisis had on pension systems in EU countries? Aaron Grech notes that prior to the crisis there was a significant divergence in pensions across the EU, with some states having relatively generous systems in comparison to others. He writes that following the crisis, southern European states have had to substantially cut back on pensions, while other states in northern Europe have remained relatively unscathed. He argues that although it should still be possible for these systems to keep pensioners out of poverty, European policymakers will need to ensure a properly functioning labour market that provides opportunities for young Europeans. Continue reading at LSE British Politics and Policy blog.

News Posted: 16 August 2015      [Back to the Top]

Downward mobility, opportunity hoarding and the 'glass floor'
Abigail McKnight's new report for the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission

new report Downward mobility, opportunity hoarding and the ‘glass floor by Abigail McKnight has been published by the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission. It examines the evidence for a cohort of British children born in 1970 in terms of the relationship between family background, childhood cognitive skills and adult success in the labour market. In particular it considers the role of parents’ education, later childhood performance in reading and maths, social and emotional skills in childhood, type of secondary school attended and whether or not individuals go on to attain a degree.

The research finds that, on average, children from lower income families or those with less advantaged social class backgrounds do not perform as well in a series of cognitive tests taken at age 5 as children from higher income families or those from advantaged social class backgrounds. Children from more advantaged family backgrounds are more likely to have high earnings in later adult life and are more likely to be in a “top job”. This is not simply due to different levels of cognitive ability as it holds within attainment groups as well as over the complete distribution. Analysis is focused on a group of initially high attaining children and a group of initially low attaining children and follows their progress through to labour market outcomes at age 42.

The research identifies a number of factors that account for the fact that children from more affluent family backgrounds are more likely to be highly successful in the labour market as adults:  highly educated parents; higher maths skills age 10; stronger social and emotional skills age 10; greater likelihood of attending a Grammar or a Private secondary school; more likely to attain a degree level qualification.  The hoarding of opportunities by better-off families is likely to contribute to the reduced success of initially high attaining children from less advantaged families converting early potential into later labour market success.

Richard Reeves of the Brookings Institute, whose own research focusing on American social mobility has been influential, has written an interesting blog about this report.

As part of our Social Policy in a Cold Climate programme (SPCC) we have produced a summary of recent research on social mobility and education attainment based on research by Jo Blanden, Claire Crawford, Ellen Greaves, Paul Gregg, Lindsey Macmillan, Abigail McKnight, Luke Sibieta and Anna Vignoles.

A new working paper in this theme from the SPCC programme is now available: When and Why do Initially High Attaining Poor Children Fall Behind? by Claire Crawford, Lindsey Macmillan and Anna Vignoles.

More research on this theme is forthcoming in Autumn 2015. If you’d like to receive email updates sign up here.

News Posted: 17 July 2015      [Back to the Top]

Honour for STICERD's Director
Oriana Bandiera elected Fellow of the British Academy

Professor Oriana Bandiera, director of STICERD, has today been elected Fellow of the British Academy. She joins a list of 42 highly distinguished UK academics from 18 universities, taking the total number of living Fellows to over one thousand for the first time. This year seven LSE academics, including LSE's Director Craigh Calhoun, have received the honour. 

At its Annual General Meeting (16 July 2015), the Academy welcomed the new Fellows whose research areas span the full range of the subject areas across the humanities and social sciences, from history to psychology, economics to law, literature to philosophy and languages to archaeology.

 Professor Bandiera said “The Academy plays a key role in bridging research excellence and policy discourse, while strengthening both in the process. I am thrilled to be able to contribute to its endeavours.”

Lord Stern, President of the British Academy, said: “This year we have the honour of once again welcoming the finest researchers and scholars into our Fellowship. Elected from across the UK and world for their distinction in the humanities and social sciences, they represent an unrivalled resource of expertise and knowledge. Our Fellows play a vital role in the work of the Academy; encouraging younger researchers, engaging in public discussion of the great issues and ideas of our time, and contributing to policy reports. Their collective work and expertise are testament to why research in the humanities and social sciences is vital for our understanding of the world and humanity.”

Each year, the British Academy elects to its Fellowship outstanding UK-based scholars who have achieved distinction in any branch of the humanities and social sciences. Others based overseas can also be elected as Corresponding Fellows, and, in addition, the Academy can elect Honorary Fellows.

A full list of all the elected fellows can be found in the British Academy website.

News Posted: 16 July 2015      [Back to the Top]

New child poverty measures could allow government to shirk its responsibilities
British politics and policy at LSE blog


Abandoning the child poverty targets will damage the interests of disadvantaged children, and represents a significant step back in attempts to make Britain a fairer society, argue Kitty Stewart, Tania Burchardt, John Hills and Polly Vizard.

Last week the Conservative Government announced that it would be abandoning the indicators and targets in the Child Poverty Act (passed with cross-party support in 2010), and replacing them with a set of broader measures of life chances. It will introduce a statutory duty to report on measures of worklessness and GCSE attainment, and it will develop a range of other indicators “to measure progress against the root causes of poverty” – which it identifies as family breakdown, problem debt, and drug and alcohol dependency. Income based poverty measures are not merely being downgraded within this new approach; they are being dropped entirely. Crucially, the relevant data will still be published (at least for now). It is vital that the data continue to be published – and on time – so that others can hold government accountable. But the Conservatives have made it clear that they no longer consider income poverty part of their concern.
Continue reading here

News Posted: 06 July 2015      [Back to the Top]

Special Event
Changing London: The Rough Guide for the next London Mayor Book Launch

Monday 6
th July 4.30-6pm, followed by an informal reception

32L 1.04 1st Floor Conference Room, 32 Lincoln's Inn Fields WC2A 3PH

Chair: Professor Anne Power

Speakers: David Robinson, Changing London; Tony Travers, LSE London


CASE are delighted to invite you to the launch of a new book Changing London, a rough guide for the next Mayor, which captures the radical but practical ideas of the people of London with a pioneering and collaborative approach to politics. Author David Robinson will present and discuss the main themes that came out of hundreds of suggestions from Londoners on how their city should look, plus experiences learnt from cities around the world. Tony Travers will respond to the proposals and speak about the coming mayoral election.  The book brings together these ideas under five big visions for London:

  • What would the city look like if we determined to make it the best place on earth to raise a child? Or if it was a friendly city, where neighbourhoods thrived and everybody mattered?
  • How could we build a fair city where lavish wealth  and  abject poverty and both have been much reduced? Or maybe a healthy city, that did no harm and tackled sickness at source?

  •  And, to lead it all, how should we revitalise and retool a  democracy which saw only 38% vote in the last mayoral election.
Ideas range from play streets to plotting sheds, London Sundays to a Have-a-Go Festival, a permanent Fair Pay Commission, a Children’s Trust Fund and a cultural guarantee for every child, citizens budgets, a Mayor’s Share in the biggest businesses and the April Vote – an annual London referendum.


Booking information:

The event is free but booking is essential. Please RSVP to Places are limited so please reply as soon as possible. For more information contact Cheryl Conner at LSE ( If you are not able to attend but would like more details of the book please let us know.

The book can be ordered direct from the publishers: the paperback is £9.99 including free P&P; and the ebook is £4.50.
News Posted: 06 July 2015      [Back to the Top]

01-May-2015 00:00:00
LSE Research Festival

The fifth edition of the LSE Research Festival, now under the auspices of the School's Institute of Public Affairs|, offers a series of exciting public engagement events. The event has grown into a multi-event celebration of social science research and it is a key feature of the LSE calendar.

To find out more about the festival and the programme of events go to

News Posted: 21 May 2015      [Back to the Top]

STICERD Morishima Lecture
Scarcity: A talk for people too busy to attend talks

Thursday 21st May 2015, 6:30- 8pm

Old Theatre, Old Building, LSE

Speaker: Professor Sendhil Mullainathan

Why does poverty persist?  Why do successful people get things done at the last minute?  A single psychology--the psychology of scarcity--connects these seemingly unconnected questions. The research in our book shows how scarcity creates its own mindset. Understanding this mindset sheds light on our personal problems as well as the broader social problem of poverty and what we can do about it.  

After the success of last year's Sticerd Morishima Lecture presented by Thomas Piketty, we are proud to annnounce the next public lecture will be presented by Sendhil Mullainathan on May 21st at the LSE. This event is free and open to all with no ticket or pre-registration required. More details of the event can be found here.


News Posted: 21 May 2015      [Back to the Top]

Department of Social Policy Public Lecture
The Government Paternalist: nanny state or helpful friend?

Wednesday 20 May 2015, 06:30pm - 08:00pm

Old Theatre, Old Building

Speaker: Professor Sir Julian Le Grand

Play | Download: Audio, Video

Should governments save people from themselves? If someone smokes, drinks, takes hard drugs, or tries to assist in a friend's suicide, does the government have the right to intervene? If so, how? This lecture offers answers to these questions - among the most socially important of our age.

Sir Julian Le Grand is the Richard Titmuss Professor of Social Policy at the LSE. He was awarded a knighthood in the 2015 New Year's honours list for services to social science and public service.

He is the co-author of Government Paternalism: nanny state or helpful friend?

News Posted: 20 May 2015      [Back to the Top]

International Inequalities Institute public lecture
Joseph E. Stiglitz, The Great Divide


Why has inequality increased in the Western world and what can we do about it? In his new book, The Great Divide, which he presented at International Inequalities Institute public lecture on 19th May 2015, Joseph E. Stiglitz expands on the diagnosis he offered in his best-selling book The Price of Inequality and suggested ways to counter this growing problem. Stiglitz argues that inequality is a choice: the cumulative result of unjust policies and misguided priorities. Ultimately, Stiglitz believes our choice is not between growth and fairness; with the right policies, we can choose both.

A podcast and video of this event is available to download from The Great Divide

Atkinson, Piketty and Stiglitz at the LSE's International Inequalities Institute

In recent weeks, the LSE’s new International Inequalities Instituted has hosted three major thinkers on inequality: Tony Atkinson, Thomas Piketty and Joseph Stiglitz. In this article for the LSE British Politics and Policy blog, Mike Savage and John Hills discuss what emerged out of these events, writing that the politics of inequality will undoubtedly become increasingly central to public debate.

News Posted: 19 May 2015      [Back to the Top]

Public Economics Annual Symposium 2015

The 2015 CEPR Annual Public Economics Symposium will take place on 14-15 May at the London School of Economics. It will be hosted by STICERD and co-funded by the International Growth Centre.

The goal of the symposium is to provide a forum for high-quality work in public economics and to bring together economists in the field from across Europe as well as key researchers from outside the region.

This year's symposium features a keynote talk by Professor Emmanuel Saez, UC Berkeley. The symposium will also include a number of sessions devoted specifically to the theme of "public economics and development".

The event provides a unique opportunity for researchers from different universities and countries to discuss their work in a relaxed atmosphere and to develop long-term collaborative relationships. It is also a great opportunity for young researchers to meet and discuss their work with senior economists.

For more information about this event please go to

News Posted: 14 May 2015      [Back to the Top]

Inequality in the 21st Century
A day long engagement with Thomas Piketty

Monday 11th May 2015

LSE International Inequalities Institute conference:

A day-long seminar with Thomas Piketty, whose Capital in the Twenty-First Century has been of global significance in shaping debates about inequality across the globe, was hosted by LSE's new International Inequalities Institute with the Department of Sociology at LSE.  The British Journal of Sociology ran a special issue of reviews on Piketty's book, featuring several of the contributors to this event.

Speakers: Tony Atkinson, Laura Bear, Wendy Carlin, Gareth Jones, John Hills, Naila Kabeer, Lisa Mckenzie, Diane Perrons, Thomas Piketty, Bob Rowthorn, Mike Savage, Stephanie Seguino, David Soskice

Listen to the podcast

More information: event webpage.

Suggested hashtag for this event for Twitter users: #LSEIII

News Posted: 11 May 2015      [Back to the Top]

LSE Works/CASE Public Lecture
Making a Difference in Education: what the evidence says

Wednesday 6 May 2015 6:30-8:00pm

Hong Kong Theatre, Clement House

Speakers: Professor Robert Cassen, Professor Sandra McNally, Professor Anna Vignoles

Discussant: Professor Steve Strand

Play | Download: Audio, Slides

Is education policy evidence-based? The speakers have written a book, Making a Difference in Education: What the evidence says surveying the evidence about the effectiveness of education in the UK. They will review the book's main findings about raising pupil outcomes and narrowing the social gap.

Robert Cassen is a Visiting Professor in the Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, LSE; in 2008 he received an OBE for services to education.

Sandra McNally is Professor of Economics at the University of Surrey and Director of the Education and Skills Programme in the Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.

Anna Vignoles is Professor of Education at the University of Cambridge. She is a Research Associate at the Institute for Fiscal Studies and a Visiting Professor at the Institute of Education.

Steve Strand is Professor of Education at the University of Oxford.

LSE Works is a series of public lectures, that will showcase some of the latest research by LSE's academic departments and research centres. In each session, LSE academics will present key research findings, demonstrating where appropriate the implications of their studies for public policy. A list of all the LSE Works lectures can be viewed at LSE Works.

News Posted: 06 May 2015      [Back to the Top]

New appointment
Nicholas Stern elected Member of the American Philosophical Society

Nicholas Stern has been elected a Member of the American Philosophical Society (APS) in April 2015. His membership has been announced at the same time as Thomas Piketty's, the only other international academic to recieve the honour in he Social Sciences category. 

The APS promotes useful knowledge in the sciences and humanities through excellence in scholarly research, professional meetings, support of young scholars, publications, library resources, a museum and community outreach.

News Posted: 30 April 2015      [Back to the Top]

Inequality: what can be done?
CASE and International Inequalities Institute public lecture

Thursday 30 April 2015, 6.30-8pm
Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building Speakers: Professor Sir Tony Atkinson, Tom Clark, and Professor Baroness Lister

Introducing his new book, Inequality: what can be done?, Professor Atkinson will argue we can do much more about inequality than skeptics imagine.

Watch the video of Tony Atkinson talking about the event, below:
Professor Tony Atkinson

Download the Podcast (MP3) and Slides (PDF) from the event.

Tony Atkinson is a Centennial Professor at LSE and a Fellow of Nuffield College, Oxford.

Tom Clark writes for The Guardian and is the author of Hard Times: the divisive toll of the economic slump.

Ruth Lister is Baroness Lister of Burtersett and Emeritus Professor of Social Policy at Loughborough University.

Suggested hashtag for this event for Twitter users: #LSEinequality

This event is free and open to all with no ticket or pre-registration required. Entry is on a first come, first served basis.

For any queries see LSE Events FAQ or contact us at or 0207 955 6043.

Media queries: please contact the Press Office if you would like to request a press seat or have a media query about this event,

News Posted: 30 April 2015      [Back to the Top]

Poverty in Suburbia – ‘the American experience'
Smith Institute and CASE special seminar

Part of the CASE Social Exclusion Seminar Series

Tuesday 28th April 2015, 4.30-6pm, followed by a reception

32L 1.04 1st Floor Conference Room, 32 Lincoln's Inn Fields WC2A 3PH

The Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, the Smith Institute and the Barrow Cadbury Fund are delighted to welcome back Alan Berube, Senior Fellow and Deputy Director of the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program, to talk about his report: Confronting Suburban Poverty.

Alan has spent over a decade researching poverty. His earlier work uncovered surprising trends - there seemed to be more poor people in metropolitan areas living outside big cities than within them. This seminar explores the whats, whys and wherefores of suburban poverty and what it means for social and housing policy. Paul Hunter, Head of Research at the Smith Institute, and Ruth Lupton, Professor of Education at the University of Manchester, will respond from a UK perspective. The event will be chaired by Anne Power, Professor of Social Policy at LSE.

Booking information:

The event is free but booking is essential. Please RSVP to Places are limited so please reply as soon as possible. For more information contact Cheryl Conner at LSE ( If you are not able to attend but would like more details of the research please let us know.

Draft outline:

4.30-4.35pm       Anne Power: Welcome from the Chair

4.35-5.00pm       Alan Berube: Poverty in Suburbia

5.00-5.15pm       Paul Hunter and Ruth Lupton: response – a UK perspective (7.5 mins each)

5.15-6.00pm       Questions and discussion

News Posted: 28 April 2015      [Back to the Top]

LSE Housing and Communities Event
Report Launch: Is Welfare Reform Working?

Date: Thursday 26th March 2015

Click to download the Full report and the summary (pdf). A summary of the event can be found here. Slides from the launch are available here and you can listen to a podcast here. A powerful article about the report from The Guardian's Aditya Chakrabortty can be found here

Welfare reform has a core aim to promote access to work, breaking the cycle of benefits and poverty. The changes to benefits that have accompanied this process have had a major impact on some households’ income, and on the ability of social landlords to ensure successful rent collection whilst preventing undue hardship among tenants. 

LSE Housing and Communities carried out two rounds of interviews with 200 tenants in the South West of England covering big cities, coastal towns, villages and tourist centres over a two-year period to find out how the reforms are playing out in low-income communities. This unique evidence about how tenants and social landlords are coping under these financial pressures is written up in a new report Is Welfare Reform Working? which was launched at LSE on Thursday 26th March with presentations from:

  •       Victor Da Cunha, Chief Executive, Curo Housing, SW HAILO

  •      Anne Power, Professor of Social Policy, London School of Economics

  •      Eileen Herden, Researcher, LSE Housing and Communities

  •      Margaret Hodge, MP, Chair of the Public Accounts Committee, House of Commons (Chair)

Further information: For more information contact Nicola Serle at LSE ( or Rebecca Chapman at Curo ( If you are not able to attend but would like more details of the research please let us know.


News Posted: 26 March 2015      [Back to the Top]

Event: Housing Plus Think Tank:
Energy saving matters – social landlords can lead the way

CHANGE OF DATE: this event will now be held on Wednesday 6th May 2015

With an informal supper and debate from 6.30pm on Tuesday 5th May

Trafford Hall, National Communities Resource Centre, Wimbolds Trafford, Chester CH2 4JP


LSE Housing and Communities, and the National Communities Resource Centre, are hosting an important think tank at Trafford Hall outside Chester on how energy saving improves buildings, brings in rent, tackles climate change, addresses fuel poverty and brings communities together. This Energy Plus event is part of our popular Housing Plus programme which examines the wider role of social landlords in poorer neighbourhoods beyond just providing homes. Our previous think tank on how social landlords can prioritise energy saving in times of austerity concluded that tackling "fabric first", having very simple-to-manage systems and providing ongoing support are key. This event will use live case studies in each session and participants will contribute their experience.

Energy Plus is about helping social landlords and tenants find ways to reduce energy use in homes and buildings to tackle fuel poverty, reduce energy costs and help with rent and other arrears. Many social landlords are leading the field with innovative projects, but sharing experience and promoting what works within the sector is vital. Energy saving is now "a must". Energy supply problems and reducing the ‘heat or eat’ dilemma many tenants face, provide a real incentive for Energy Plus. We want to develop our strong, knowledge exchange network among larger and smaller social landlords across the country to share best practise, learn from mistakes and develop partnerships that really deliver.

Housing Plus is supported by government officials who are keen to learn from the experience of social landlords. We will report on the difference and contribution social landlords can make in low income communities, and the real barriers to delivery and local and national scale.

Outline and Programme

Registration Form

Please RSVP as soon as possible as only 40 places are available.

If you are unable to attend but would like to be part of our Housing Plus network or if you have any questions, contact Nicola Serle, the organiser of Housing Plus, at or 020 7955 6684.

News Posted: 20 February 2015      [Back to the Top]

Good Times, Bad Times, Hard Times
Live Debate from the RSA (19th February 2015) - Video now available

Have we fully comprehended the human cost of the recession?

Watch the Video

The economic recession may be over, but the aftermath is a policy of austerity stretching out for as far as the eye can see - with grave implications for the welfare state. The Left complains that the bills run up by the bankers are being paid by the poor, while the Right claims to be rebalancing the scales against shirkers and in favour of strivers.

Director of the LSE's Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, Professor John Hills revives the original argument for social security as way of smoothing everyone's path between cradle and grave - something important for the middling majority, as well as the impoverished few.

He joins Guardian journalist and author Tom Clark, who has uncovered how the cuts are scarring poor communities, not only in terms of material hardship, but also the psychological damage caused by poverty. He will explain how feedback from the "war on welfare" is now disadvantaging workers as well as the unemployed, in a labour market where jobs are again plentiful, but where security and fulfilment remain in short supply.

Speakers: Professor John Hills, director, LSE's Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion; Tom Clark, Guardian journalist and author

Chair: Anthony Painter, director of Institutional Reform, RSA

News Posted: 19 February 2015      [Back to the Top]

LSE Housing and Communities - in the news
High rise estates can work if they are made energy efficient, says new LSE report

Residents of a high rise estate in West London experienced a significant improvement in their quality of life following energy efficiency refurbishments, according to new LSE research.

LSE Housing and Communities, in partnership with Rockwool, launched High Rise Hope Revisited on February 12 2015, a new report examining the social implications of whole building energy efficiency refurbishments in residential tower blocks.

Based on research conducted at the Edward Woods estate in Shepherds Bush, London, the report finds that upgrading work carried out across 754 flats in three 23-storey tower blocks has enhanced the quality of life and living conditions for residents, with aesthetic improvements instilling a sense of pride within the community.

The Edwards Woods estate scheme was led and managed by the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, who commissioned Energy Conscious Design (ECD) Architects and the building contractors Breyer for the project which began in 2011. Ambitious and complex in nature, it has primarily involved remedial work on the concrete building structure, external cladding of the blocks with Rockwool's External Wall insulation system and the installation of solar panels to provide 82,000 kWh of electricity annually for lifts and communal lighting. The scheme was used as a model case study for how the Green Deal and Community Energy Saving Partnership (CESP) 'whole building' approach would work in high-rise, socially rented estates.

High Rise Hope Revisited is the second part of the LSE's study at the Edward Woods estate. In 2012, an initial report, High Rise Hope, interviewed residents during the renovation works. Following this research, LSE returned to the estate when all the upgrading work was complete to highlight lessons learned and assess the social and community impact of transforming a 1960s local authority housing estate into a landmark, high rise model of social housing.

Among the most significant lessons learned from the project was the importance of communication with residents. High Rise Hope Revisited recommends regular community updates are necessary to ensure tenants feel part and informed of improvement works. In addition to initial consultations, the report suggests more ongoing support helps to improve wider understanding of the objectives of regeneration, and to explain any delays that occur. The residents of Edward Woods, who were also concerned about the removal of visible staff presence during the project, cited better management of the works as their overriding suggestion for improvement.

LSE's key findings in the second report, High Rise Hope Revisited, demonstrate that, "Overall, residents value living on the estate. Residents on the Edward Woods estate like their homes, they find their flats comfortable and have a generally high quality of life." The research also states that, "residents are positive about the estate and their homes and generally feel safe living there." In fact, "78% now describe their quality of life in their home as good or excellent, compared with 68% in 2011, showing a marked improvement," and "people are generally proud to live on the estate, with many saying this had improved since the regeneration. Residents overwhelmingly say they enjoy living there."

"Edward Woods has a fascinating history because it is a large, concrete, high-rise, council-owned estate, housing a very low income community in 23 storey tower blocks and maisonettes in a very busy part of West London," says Professor Anne Power, LSE Housing and Communities. "It is popular, well managed, attractive and fully occupied. It shows that with careful on-site management, high-rise estates can work, if they are also made energy efficient. This is crucial so that residents can pay their rent, meet basic costs and escape fuel poverty."

This article was published on the LSE website

Read the the full report, HIGH RISE HOPE REVISITED: The social implications of upgrading the energy efficiency of large estates, and the executive summary.

News Posted: 16 February 2015      [Back to the Top]

LSE Housing and Communities Event
High Rise Hope Revisited


report cover


The social implications of upgrading the energy efficiency of large estates

Thursday 12th February 2015, 5:00pm - 6:30pm;
Followed by a reception and networking 6:30pm - 7:30pm.

Refreshments will be served from 4.30pm

Venue: 32L 1.04, 1st Floor Conference Room, London School of Economics, 32 Lincoln's Inn Fields, London WC2A 3PH

Campus Map; Nearest tube station: Holborn

RSVP to by 6th February.

For more information about the research or the event contact or



In 2012 the London School for Economics and ROCKWOOL published High Rise Hope, a path-breaking investigation into the social impact of whole building energy efficiency refurbishments in residential tower blocks.

Following this research, LSE Housing and Communities went back to the Edward Woods estate in Shepherd's Bush, in the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, to re-interview residents once the upgrading work was complete. High Rise Hope Revisited highlights lessons learned and the potential social and community impact from transforming a 1960s local authority housing estate into a landmark retrofitted high rise model of social housing. The project provides many invaluable lessons for large-scale energy efficiency schemes showing how energy saving can help take millions of people out of fuel poverty, if accompanied by support and advice to help tenants cut energy use.

Key findings included:

  • Addressing issues of fuel poverty and energy efficient improvements to the existing housing stock

  • Improving quality of life and conditions in individual homes and wider estates and neighbourhoods

  • Making people feel proud of the aesthetic improvements to their area and general upgrade - people feel their area compares well with others
Join us on the 12th February 2015 at the London School of Economics to discuss findings and lessons learned. A range of key industry figures will also be presenting on a selection of related topics around social housing, with an opportunity to network.


  • Why retrofitting high-rise makes sense
    Sunand Prasad, Senior Partner Penoyre & Prasad LLP and ex-President of RIBA

  • Edward Woods estate: what can social landlords do
    Darren Snaith, Director of Refurbishment and Regeneration, ROCKWOOL UK

  • High Rise Hope Revisited: what residents tell us about their community and the experience of major reinvestment, what the lessons hold for the future
    Professor Anne Power, London School of Economics

  • The long term gains of retrofitting the Edward Woods estate
    London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham

  • Retrofit issues in social housing
    Andrew Eagles, Managing Director, Sustainable Homes

  • Wilmcote House: What Portsmouth City Council hopes to achieve
    Steve Groves, Repairs & Maintenance Manager, Portsmouth City Council
For more information, see Rockwool's website:

News Posted: 30 January 2015      [Back to the Top]

CASE/SPCC Special Event
The Coalition's Social Policy Record: Policy, Spending and Outcomes 2010-2015

Wednesday 28th January 2015

Researchers from the LSE and Universities of Manchester and York launched nine new reports including an overview of the Coalition's social policy record and separate papers on taxes and benefits; health; adult social care; under fives; further and higher education and skills; employment; housing; area regeneration:
  • The Coalition's Social Policy Record: Policy Spending and Outcomes 2010-2015
    Full paper| Summary

  • The Coalition's Record on Area Regeneration and Neighbourhood Renewal: Policy, Spending and Outcomes 2010-2015
    Full paper| Summary

  • The Coalition's Record on Housing: Policy, Spending and Outcomes 2010-2015
    Full paper| Summary

  • The Coalition's Record on Adult Social Care: Policy, Spending and Outcomes 2010-2015
    Full paper| Summary

  • The Coalition's Record on Health: Policy, Spending and Outcomes 2010-2015
    Full paper| Summary

  • The Coalition's Record on Employment: Policy, Spending and Outcomes 2010-2015
    Full paper| Summary

  • The Coalition's Record on Further Education, Skills and Access to Higher Education: Policy, Spending and Outcomes 2010-2015
    Full paper| Summary

  • The Coalition's Record on Under Fives 2010-2015
    Full paper| Summary

  • The Coalition's Record on Cash Transfers, Poverty and Inequality 2010-2015
    Full paper| Summary

Each paper contains thorough analysis of policy, spending and trends in outcomes, showing how the Coalition has tackled the fiscal and social policy challenges it faced in 2010. What has it protected from austerity measures and what has been cut? What has been the effect on services and the people receiving them? What has happened to poverty, inequality and the distribution of other social and economic outcomes? Has the government kept to its pledges to cut the deficit while protecting those most in need, radically reform the welfare state and increase social mobility? What challenges remain as further austerity looms?

Video of the presentations from launch event are now available

If you missed the launch event for the Coalition papers you can watch the overview summary presentation with Ruth Lupton and John Hills here The Coalition’s Social Policy Record: Policy, Spending and Outcomes 2010-2015

The breakout sessions are also available to watch:

The Coalition’s Record on Employment, Tax, and Benefits 2010-2015 with John Hills and Abigail McKnight

The Coalition’s Record on Health, Social care and Housing 2010-2015 Tania Burchardt, Becky Tunstall and Polly Vizard

The Coalitions Record on Early years, Schools, and Further and Higher Education 2010-2015 with Ruth Lupton and Kitty Stewart

The work is part of the Social Policy in a Cold Climate research programme, which is funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Nuffield Foundation and Trust for London. The views expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the funders.
News Posted: 28 January 2015      [Back to the Top]